Stanford Soccer Star Makes The Jump To The NWSL
If you do not know the name Sophia Smith, you will shortly. The Colorado native, while raised in a family of basketball players, has emerged as one of the greatest young soccer stars in the country. Her call to the United States National Team in November and then again in December of 2019 was well-deserved and unsurprising, considering her long history with the program that began when she played for their u14 team.
As a powerhouse forward for Stanford for the past two seasons, Smith plans to conclude her NCAA bid and move on to play professionally as well as with the national team. However, her college career is not to be brushed under the rug. As a freshman in 2018, Smith was named to All-Pac-12 second team, All-Pac-12 freshman team, and led the Pac-12 with three game winning goals. In her sophomore year, she was awarded the College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player, College Cup All-Tournament team, All-Pac-12 second team, finished with 17 goals and nine assists in 21 total appearances with 17 starts, and tied for the seventh-most goals in program history. She was also instrumental in their 2019 NCAA Championship victory, the program’s third title in their 25 year history.
Following her stellar sophomore season, she became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NWSL Draft by the Portland Thorns. “We’ve never been able to deal with her, playing against her when she was with the [United States] U-23s or U-20s,” Thorns head coach Mark Parsons told reporters after the draft via SBNATION. “We haven’t won many of those games when she was on the pitch, and she was often the reason.”
She was the youngest No. 1 overall pick in the history of the NWSL at the age of 19, but Parsons expects her to be a force in the league immediately. “Her athletic ability is unmatched,” he said to SBNATION. “But that doesn’t matter if you don’t have the mentality and maturity that she already has. She’s got the most key things that we think make a special, world-class forward. We’ve been desperate for that for a long time.”
While the global pandemic put a halt on her professional plans, Smith is a young star to watch as she begins her professional career.
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